LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan says that the positive player reaction to the Australian swing during the tour will see the events in the future grow.
Whan told Golf Inside's Inside the Ropes podcast this week that the word-of-mouth factor was strong, especially now that the ISPS Handa Vic Open was added to the ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open in two weeks lasting swing Down Under.
Whan said the coordinated Vic Open had been "definitely the talk about the sport" for a week in February and expected a stronger field on 13th Beach next year. He said the answer from the first players was similar to the fact that the LPGA co-sanctioned the Australian Open a few years ago.
"I was in Thailand and Singapore a few weeks after the Vic Open was over and I was sitting in the dining room of the players in Singapore, listening to two players who had talked to the Vic Open against six players who didn't, and they told them how cool it was, the experience, "he said. "They had played a practice round with different guys, shared warm-up routines. How great the fans were about the whole thing.
"For me, it was like a flashback to listen to them after the Women & # 39; s Australian Open. Where events really go up, when word of mouth starts to appear within athletes. We can do what we want with promotion and so, but at the end of the day if the athletes like it, believe it and it means something to them, they will tell other athletes. That's what is going on in the LPGA. There has been a real awakening. & # 39; & # 39;
While the Vic Open had the smallest grant ($ US 1.1 million) on the LPGA Tour, Whan said the concept with its mixed men's and women's fields and the atmosphere of the event had created an impact. "I can tell you that in our changing rooms, because both events have raised their profile because of the way other players who have gone have talked about it."
He said the first year of worldwide Vic Open television coverage and co-sanctioning had warned the world about what Australians had known for some time about the unique tournament, adding that he had received phone calls from other tournaments wondering how the event was received such general media coverage. "The good news in the first year the world woke up. I think you'll see the results in the second year. & # 39; & # 39;
Whan, commissioner of the largest women's tour in the world since 2010, also spoke about & # 39; Drive On & # 39 ;, the new positioning campaign launched last week that connects the founders of the tour with today's superstars of the sport.
"Drive On is really that internal light that says," No matter how good or how bad your day is, remember that young girls are looking at you and hoping to be on your shoulders one day, "he said